Louis Vuitton has another monster-size rough diamond on its hands. Earlier this year, the Parisian luxury house announced it had acquired the second largest diamond on the planet, known as the Sewelô, that weighed in at 1,758 carats. The maison followed up today with news that it has acquired a 549-carat rough diamond, named the Sethunya, which means “flower” in the Setswana language of Botswana. As its moniker suggests, the new stone is indeed daintier (if a diamond of this carat size could be called that), at more than half the weight the Sewelô, but it is a significant find nonetheless.
Both discoveries came from the Karowe Diamond Mine in Botswana and were uncovered by Louis Vuitton in partnership with Karowe-owner Lucara, a leading producer of large and exceptional diamonds, and HB Antwerp, a diamond supply chain and manufacturing company. Each partner will play a role in taking the stone from its rough form to high-jewelry pieces offered to Louis Vuitton’s top clients. It is the third major diamond discovery at the Karowe Mine. In 2015, the 1,109-carat Lesedi La Rona rough was uncovered. It later sold to Graff Diamonds in 2017 for $53 million.
Incredibly, the Sethunya is said to have been found on February 1 of this year, just a month after the announcement of the Sewelô. It was discovered by a female Motswana diamond sorter. It came on her radar during a sorting process called the Mega Diamond Recovery XRT circuit, which spots carbon-rich pieces before they are crushed. Like the Sewelô, Louis Vuitton’s plans for the Sethunya include turning the single rock into a multitude of cut-and-polished diamonds that will be used in made-to-order jewelry creations.
According to the company, the people of Botswana will reap the benefits of the discovery through the proceeds of the diamond—although it didn’t elaborate on exactly how that would happen. Some mines and jewelers, however, are finding ways to support local communities.